Pingree Park Garden: its History
Adapted from the original by Jake Maier, Senior Scout Leader, Wenham Boy Scouts Troop 28 (Eagle Scout candidate). Original document is from Treasures of Wenham History
by Jack E. Hauk
Pingree Park today doesn’t look at all what it was like in the past. For many years it was an apple orchard before it was a playground for families to hang out. During the eighteenth century the field known today as Pingree Park was used as an army camp from 1862 – 1865 during the Civil War. The field was owned by George Dodge. When the field was an army camp it was called Camp Lander which was named after Frederick W. Lander who was a Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
After 1865 the property was changed back to being used peacefully. For example the field went back to pasturing cows and growing crops. During 1890s the field was used as a polo ground before Myopia existed.
Mrs. Thomas Pingree was a private owner who acquired ownership of the field until 1916 when she died. In the same year she died, the fourteen acres were given to the town for a playground and recreation purposes. The baseball field across from the HW public library was named Cheeseman Field in 1972. It was named “Cheeseman Field” to honor the death of Captain Alan B. Cheeseman who grew up in Wenham and died in the Vietnam War.
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